The Online Advertising Gold Rush

It’s finally happening. According to the highly-anticipated Internet Trends Report by Mary Meeker, the amount being spent on Online Advertising is about to surpass the amount being spent on TV ad spots for the first time ever in 2017.

2017 Internet Trends Report from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Yes, you read that right. This means companies and advertisers are spending more on targeting their ideal customers online instead of expensive TV commercials. The playing field has leveled and put the power back into consumers’ hands (literally).

Enter Mobile

For everyone not living under a rock, it should come as no surprise that the rise of mobile devices has dramatically changed the way we live our lives. Our smartphones have become so advanced that they are almost like our little companions.

We rely on them to keep us up to date with the latest news, and to keep in touch with our friends and family. We talk to them and tell them where we want to go, and they give us directions. We carry our mobile phones with us everywhere, even the bathroom (especially the bathroom).

They are usually the first thing we look at when we wake up, and the last thing we look at before we sleep.

Indeed, the power of mobile lies in the simple fact that we are so attached to them. Ask any teenager if they would rather forget their house keys or their phone at home. Most will say that they will risk locking themselves out and climb through a window, but how am I supposed to Instagram my dinner without my phone?!

The data from the report shows that we are spending more and more time looking at our mobile devices (from less than an hour a day in 2011, to 3.1 hours per day in 2016)

2017 Internet Trends Report from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

So not only are people looking at their mobile screens more than ever before, therefore drawing more eyeballs and more chances to make a sale, there is another benefit of online advertising that gives savvy marketers a HUGE edge on the competition…

Big Data Targeting

When you combine the ability to gain and hold a prospect’s attention with the hyper-targeting capabilities of big data, the results can be profound.

Never before in the history of marketing are we able to target a specific person, at a specific time, in a specific location, based on a specific demographic that has specific interests (are you tired of the word “specific” yet?) as well as we can today.

Combining the back-end “big data” of online giants like Google and Facebook with front-end measurement tools, advertisers are able to reach users that are interested in what they have to offer, and at the precise moment in the buying cycle when they are most likely to purchase.

2017 Internet Trends Report from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

This means that the cost per acquisition can be lowered dramatically, especially if proper audience research is done beforehand. This immense advertising power is available to not only big brands with huge advertising budgets, but also to small businesses. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons internet advertising is so attractive – you don’t need to spend a lot of money to start getting results.

As an advertising platform, online advertising is effective because it’s measurable. The numbers tell a story – you know exactly which ad, on which device, targeting which demographic produced the best result.

No more blindly paying for TV spots, radio ads, or newspaper ads. No more wondering where your customers are coming from, and being fearful of cutting any advertising source in case it may be the golden goose that lays the golden customers. With online advertising, you start saving money immediately by not wasting it on non-performing ad spots.

This is the Future

As online advertising platforms get more advanced, the barrier to entry naturally lowers and competition for advertising space will rise. This is the battlefield where brands compete with each other for market domination. Who will rise to the top?

The clear winner is social. Social media is a massive source of users that can determine the fate of a brand with a simple tweet. If a company does something nice, people hear about it and it can go viral. Conversely, if a company rips off or treats a customer with disrespect, they could tarnish their reputation – and ruin their business forever.

So, looking at the data – which brands are most likely to thrive in this era? The brands that know and connect with their ideal customers intimately. The brands that are not afraid to be transparent online, and are not afraid to admit when they make a mistake.

Today’s consumers are more informed than ever before. Using tools to get to know your audience will enable you to create content that speaks to them specifically (there’s that word again…) and this in turn will enable your brand to rise above the noise and create raving customers as a result.

So what are you waiting for? If you’re not advertising online already, why not? If you are advertising online, did you find success with it? Let us know below!

To download and review Meeker’s full Internet Trends Report, click here.